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Josef Burton


Kids These Days: The Youth Politics Nobody Was Expecting

[People dance in Gezi Park on the eleventh day of the resistance there, 7 June 2013. Photo by Tolga Sezgin/Nar Photos.]

I heard the same line from booksellers and esteemed political scientists, from television producers and textile workers and from youth activists themselves: “Youth today aren't political.” It was a common experience for me, when I explained that I was in Turkey to research youth movements, to be greeted with a puzzled look and a comment to the effect of “Why?” or “That doesn't happen anymore.” It became clear during the course of my research that this was not simply a ...

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Josef Burton holds an MA in Near Eastern Languages and Civilization from the University of Washington, where he studied the history of youth and being young in modern Turkey. He spent the 2011-2012 academic year researching youth activism in Istanbul.